By Grace Beckner
MONTE VISTA— On Tuesday, April 24, Monte Vista High School put on its annual mock accident. Held every year before prom, this year’s event was organized by Melissa Harlan, MVHS media specialist and registrar and the members of the club, SHOCK (Students Helping Our Communities and Kids). They also enlisted the help of the Monte Vista Police Department, Colorado State Patrol the Monte Vista Fire Department, as well as the Monte Vista Ambulance service and Rio Grande County Hospital.
All of MVHS juniors and seniors listened to Colorado State Patrol Sergeant Rodney Noga, accompanied by Trooper Onge, Trooper Cummings and Officer David Pino from the MVPD, speak about driving under the influence of alcohol and marijuana and the consequences that can result from doing so.
After his presentation, the officer showed a short film that depicted several graphic car accidents and some of the victims of those wrecks. Once that concluded, the students watched a video, conceptualized by SHOCK, that depicted what could happen if students chose to be reckless and how one act of irresponsibility might have dire, unforeseen ramifications.
After the films, the students were led to the mock accident site, which was set up just outside the golf course, where they were able to see what an actual car accident might look like. At the scene there were many students acting out roles wherein some were injured, some were dead, and some were witnesses to the wreck. The police department, the fire department and a few ambulances quickly arrived at the scene, sirens blaring and got to work. The fire department immediately started prying doors off the vehicles to get to the “victims” so that the emergency medical personnel could get to work and get the students into ambulances.
Once the accident simulation was over, the students were ushered into the gym where they got to see what happens when a victim of a car wreck goes to the hospital. In this demonstration, three emergency room nurses went through the steps of trying to save the life of the “victim,” but were ultimately unable to revive them in this hypothetical situation, an outcome which is sadly far too common in real life.
After the mock accident officially ended, several people came forward and shared how situations similar to that which had been acted out earlier had affected them personally. One thing that everyone who shared stressed was that, when someone gets hurt or killed in a car accident, it affects the entire community, not just that one person or family. Overall, this year’s mock accident proved to be a success and a very impactful experience for all the students who participated in it.
SHOCK would like to thank the following individuals and organizations for making the mock accident possible: MVHS Staff, MVHS Broadcasting, MVHS Principal Scott Wiedeman, MVHS Superintendent Robert Webb, the Monte Vista Fire Department, Chief Sullivan, Sheldon Lowder, Scott Taylor, Monte Vista paramedics, Stefan Ortega, Monte Vista Police, David Pino, Colorado State Patrol, Sergeant Noga, Rio Grande County Hospital, Candace Allen, Kayla Beiriger, Colorado Recycling, Louis Gallegos, the City of Monte Vista and finally, the Monte Vista Journal and Chelsea Martinez.
The 2018 MVHS mock accident student team included: Erika Medina, Aleena Ortega, Armando Bolanos, Tristan Castillo, CJ Blankensop, Corey Prevette, Daniel Rivera, Dante Martinez, Ellie Gonzales, Emilio Sandoval, Felix Ortega, Heather Prevette, Jacob Gutierrez, Jazmine Veal, Kiana Dominguez, Dezirae Sandoval, Erica Robles, Tammy Vigil, Kayla Hernandez, Karina Lopez, Jason Duran, Anna Salcido, Parker Randolph, and Angelo Rodriguez
For those who would like to view SHOCK’s mock accident video, it will be available in approximately two weeks on the school’s MVHS Pirate Broadcasting Facebook page.
Grace Beckner is the Monte Vista High School Journal student editor.